Remembering *Egg for Life

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Egg for life

As we approach Easter, I’m reminded of my *Egg for Life campaign I undertook in 2014 prior to the annual “Race for Life” charity run(s) I did (I did two that year) to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

I didn’t have a blog back then however set about organizing an event to help boost my sponsorship on Facebook.

The idea was to sell an *Egg for Life (just in time for Easter) in exchange for a £5.00 sponsorship or, to attend a morning tea and crochet lesson with *Egg for Life kit boxes which included all the supplies you needed to make an egg and pattern. I was of course providing the lesson and my hubby provided the teas, cakes and sandwiches (he is an amazing cook).

I had some great support from suppliers when I told them my plan. One shop supplied pink crochet hooks and stitch markers for  the kits, people were posting me yarn, I was given purple egg boxes, and I received a large discount on the order for the pink boxes. 😊

The event was awesome. The day was a success and we had SO much fun! (Hopefully I  can speak for the ladies who were there!) The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement. I was rather nervous about doing a lesson: it is rather daunting to face teaching complete novices (some) to crochet, especially when there were so many in one go, but it turned out fine and all told me they had had a fun time regardless. In the end, after lots of fun and laughter, scones with jam and cream, cakes and copious amounts of tea, amongst the finished articles there were some really good eggs made and well,  some shapes (which we all agreed in laughter) that came out not resembling an egg in any shape or form at all 😂

After the event, I sold the tea set too and even sold the egg making kits left over to bring in as much cash possible for this great cause.

We raised £1000.00 that year! I still have a whole basket of eggs and every year they come out at the time I get my letter for signing up to the next race (usually now) and always on time for Easter…I’ve been out of the running scene the last few years due to foot operations, but I’m so looking forward to next year when (hopefully) I can think of another way to boost my sponsorship with my other love – crochet.

Blogger Recognition Award nomination

Blogger Recognition Award 2017

I’m so honored to have received my very first blog award nomination.  Thank you so much for the nomination, Tami (Tanglewood knots ).

The rules for the award are:-

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

The reason behind it all

I was having a terrible time. I’ll try not go into all of what was going on – you’d be shocked, but everything in my life seemed impossible and trying to believe the things that were happening around me was really happening, was truly a hard task. It felt as though everything that could possibly go wrong was going wrong and in the worst way ever. I was finding it difficult to take on anymore  bad news, yet it kept coming and I was struggling. I was not finding joy in anything and my crafts had taken a back seat to the life events. I went to see a therapist to help come to terms with all that was thrown my way. After a few sessions with her, she suggested setting up an online shop / website of some sort to sell my hand crafts. She explained the benefits of being creative and encouraged me to pursue a creative escape at least once a day. She felt that rather than always giving my hand made works away to others that it would be good to try sell my works, not necessarily for money (or a lot of it), but to help me improve my confidence and self belief by getting something “back”, for me. She explained that I was giving myself away in so many ways but not really looking after me. Initially I only had my Etsy shop. I was so surprised to have had such a lovely response to the toys I was making and found that every order received boosted my confidence just a little bit more. After a couple of sales I went on to set up the blog, which with a little research on ‘how to attract customers’ I found that I needed to generate (according to those in the know) a better ‘online presence’… to ‘make myself/ my shop known’ in the mystical World Wide Web. I’m still learning and there are many things I still do not know about this blogging thing, but my intentions are to keep the blog as a ‘showcase’ of the things I’ve made, the WIP’s which you’re likely to see in my shop at some point (with a story about how this came about) and possibly provide insight into future projects. A sort of resume I’d suppose. I work full time so my blog and crochet (for the time being) is my hobby, my sanity and my  salvation. The making of something beautiful and concentrating on the outcome to overcome troubled times. My “Look what I made” and my “Wow… can you believe it – I’ve been nominated for an award! I must be doing something right!” 😊

Two pieces of advice – passing on my penny’s worth

  1. Be true to yourself and honor your work. If you’re gonna write a blog post, make it real. Bring it to life. Tell the story it deserves. You don’t have to write pages and pages (sometimes a little is more than enough), but honor your subject, be true to yourself and let us know what makes the subject special for you. Your enthusiasm will speak volumes.
  2. Read the blogs you follow. You can learn so much from others and get some interesting tips and tricks to those blogging dilemma’s and mystifying secrets. You can find all sorts of inspiration and insights into others expressions and postings. It’s also a great way to be social and find like minded people all equally supportive of your blog.

15 of my fav’s

Before I list the 15, I’d just like to say that I appreciate every one of my followers (I always follow my followers back) and I hope you do not feel offended if your blog is not listed below:-

  1. Tanglewood knots – Tami has got my vote (right back at ya), for all the positive vibes and great friendly support. Really grateful to have met a wonderful internet buddy.
  2. Emma Craft Projects – Emma always pops by to say hello and her blog is full of the cutest creations.
  3. Craft odyssey – Mrs P’s stories make me laugh out loud.
  4. Salty Mom – a DIY guru with wonderful ideas.
  5. My Crafty Musings – for all the beautiful colors and crafty inspiration
  6. The Crafty Mummy Blog  – Kasia’s crafty inspiration and wonderful photography – I honestly don’t know where you get all the time!
  7. Craft and other Crazy plans– Mrs Craft’s ideas, tutorials and stories are just superb.
  8. Lime Green Lady – TilleyB’s wonderfully unique ideas.
  9. Florrie and Rene – Vicki’s started a new site. Check out her beautiful card designs!
  10. LucyAnn and Luna – LucyAnn is currently working on a very unusual project. I’m quite keen to see what happens next…
  11. A Hook and Happy Heart – I was so inspired by your stickers and and planner things, I just had to jump in and set myself up a bullet journal too.
  12. Pleasant Plushies – Rachel’s blanket looks so soft and inviting
  13. Funky Air Bear – Being a runner too (although not having done so in a while due to my foot ops), I enjoy the mixture of exercise and creativity stories on this blog.
  14. Amanda crochets – The patience of Amanda’s posts on crochet tutorials deserves an award. Spreading the love of crochet and teaching others to do so too.
  15. The Rainbow Junkie – Jane’s use of color in all her projects. I’m also very jealous of her beautiful garden!

That’s it folks – sorry it took such a long time to get this out there. I was away in London the weekend and had very little time or access to WiFi.

 

Mystical Lantern Blanket – WIP

Change of hook

I quite like making blankets and fell in love with the shapes and colors of this pattern the moment I saw it. I came across it by chance and bought the pattern and yarn in a kit (find it here) from Blacksheep Wools without hesitation.  I love making the purses but I must admit that I am actually enjoying the change of hook and the  feel of the yarn.

Mystical lanterns - WIP

The pattern is easy to follow and I really enjoy the idea suggested regarding color placement:- Basically, you’re told (if you so wish) to remove the yarn bands, place all the balls in a bag. Have another bag at hand, preferably the  bags will have draw strings or are able to close in a manner that you cannot see the colors. You’re asked then to select a ball of yarn (without peeking) to begin round one. Once the round is completed, placing the used color in the spare bag. Then to repeat the process of randomly selecting a color from the one bag for each round crocheted to make the lantern.

I love this idea and applaud the sentiment of the total random placement of the colors and have actually associated it in my own personal circumstances I find myself in. The lesson learnt from this idea is so refreshing and totally apt to my life right now:- I’ve learnt that you don’t always have to have a plan, because as long as you have a positive attitude (matching colors), all the various issues you are facing (colors) can and will fit together once the bigger picture is revealed. I’m not usually this philosophical, but I have been totally reassured by this pattern that my own situation I find myself in at the moment, has a great many positives to it which will and can equally turn out just fine by concentrating on the “finished product” and not getting too hung up on the finer details. (Thereby also helping me with my control /OCD issues 😀)

Whilst I’m providing you a review on the pattern (so far), I wanted to also show you this beautiful work basket I got from The Knitting Gift shop. Ian’s baskets are beautifully made and I have nothing but high praise for the excellent service I received. The basket is just perfect to hold my yarns and bits ‘n bobs whilst I work – Thank you!

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And finally, I have received my business cards which I have proudly been giving out to friends, work colleagues and family. With my cards, I also received a branded “Made By Nina” T-shirt and a mug for my tea. I’m in love 😍

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Forever Spring Garden III *Coin Purse

I know I’ve been posting a LOT of coin purses recently. I promise this will be the last for a short while as I am quite busy on a new blanket (excited) and I also have a couple of other projects in the waiting… oh AND a custom order which is non-purse related. I wouldn’t want you to run away due to boredom ‘oh joy… another purse post’. 😝

The ‘Forever Spring Garden *Coin Purse’ design proved quite popular and I have had several requests for one. I haven’t had a confirmed order mind you, but I just thought I’d make one, (I  actually quite like making them) put it on my Etsy Shop and whoever is first to buy – all the luck to them 🍀. It will make a lovely Mothers Day gift however, so would any of the other purses if you’re still stuck for ideas. (Don’t forget to make use of the discount code!)

PS. Don’t you just love the ladybug? 🐞 

 

Red Love *Coin Purse

Love, love me do…

I decided to be a little brave and have a go at trying a new yarn. I loved the colour pallet of the Paintbox yarns. Vibrant, young bold and modern? I’ve bought a small rainbow of selected colours and will be trying them out over the next few purses. I loved the red as soon as I saw it. A much deeper than and I think I prefer this shade to the more yellow version I already have.

The colours are bolder but I find the ‘Feel’ a lot different, even though they’re both cotton. My usual Sirdar cotton has a shiny glow to it (which probably adds to its softness whilst working with it) whereas the Paintbox yarn seems to absorb the colour, but not drain it. A little tougher on the fingers to work with, but quite an acceptable sacrifice if you’re after a larger pallet of colours. There is no difference however between finished products.

Red Love *Coin Purse available now in my shop, here.

Raspberry Ripple *Coin Purse

Happy Friday everyone!

As mentioned before, I went to Sally’s birthday party not so long ago. Sally’s purse was a huge success at the party and I had all the ladies asking me for purses. I spent a lot of time scribbling down contact info for them to get hold of me and (lesson learnt) I have since designed myself a proper business card for future occasions such as this 😊 (Feeling quite grown up re the cards I must add).

The ladies wanted an exact replica of Sally’s purse. However, as you will know if you’re into hand crafts, it’s not always so easy to make exact replicas, besides the purses all demand their own personalities and are often made with an individual in mind (especially the gifted items) so cannot be the same.

The yarn I used for example, on Sally’s purse was bought in South Africa. I do not have enough of it left over to make another purse, so it has been made with another brand I bought locally. This is the result:-

A little more on the raspberry ripple side, with the emphasis on raspberry, but still very pretty and would make a wonderful and fun  gift.

PS. Don’t forget about the discount code from my previous post when you visit my shop!

Find my shop here or contact me here for custom orders.

 

Green Daisy *Coin Purse

A crochet coin purse – perfect Mother’s Day gift

“Daisy.. Daisy give me your answer true… I’m half crazy all for the love of you” 🌼 … bet you all sang along with that too.

The Daisy is such a huge part of my life. I doodle Daisies all day, often without even thinking about it. There’s something in their shape that’s so pleasing. They are such a wonderful advocate for a flower. Not that flowers need advocated – I mean, who doesn’t love flowers? However, ask 10 random people, anywhere to draw a flower and what do they do? They draw a Daisy.

Remember  May’s Daisy Blanket I made for my MIL for Christmas? Daisies appear all over the show. Daisies are just simply beautiful, comforting, pleasing and frankly the epitome of pretty. I was thinking of a colorful Daisy chain for this purse, bring out those mothers who wore Daisy chains, colorful caftans and no shoes, but as I was getting into it’s creation, the purse was changing into something more sophisticated. More elegant. Thinking about it, those women are no longer the flower-power-hippies they were (well most of them anyway) the 60’s are long gone and fashions and tastes have moved on. The Daisy *Coin Purse was demanding to be something current, beautiful, special. Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow and let your creations make a life for themselves.

I hope this purse goes to a lovely home, and brings a smile to its recipients face. It will be missed dearly.

Doily *Coin Purse

So pleased to introduce you to this new little beauty. The Doily *Coin Purse has turned out beyond my expectations. I am really pleased with this one. A lot of work has been done on this purse:- the adaptation of the pattern  I used for a doily took longer than I expected. I’ve also sewn 2 linings inside – a calico in the middle and a soft floral on the inside. As you will know I hand sew the linings on all the purses which takes up a lot of time.

This purse will be a great gift for a person with elegance and appreciation for the finer things. It has a romantic lace’y feel about it. I would personally use it for jewellery or small trinkets & keep sake’s rather than a coin purse, but whatever the use I wouldn’t mind this one not selling so that I can keep it  for myself.😋

If you would like to purchase it, (hurry) it is available now in my Etsy Shop

Blue and Yellow Cherry Blossom *Coin Purses

I’m so glad that the Cherry Blossom design has worked out so well in yellow. And just the day for it to be finished too:- a strange yellow ball appeared in the sky today… we haven’t seen it in these parts of the world for quite some time. I tried hard not to stare at it in case I scared it off. It’s been a wonderful day with actual yellow light from the sun, none of the grey overcast malarkey. I am convinced the sun came out in some  sort of approval and to welcome the yellow purse being born ☀️

Of course I had to make a second Blue Cherry Blossom *Coin Purse, in case one of you were thinking of gift ideas. I’ve decided to keep the first Blue Cherry Blossom *Coin Purse (well, that’s if the Doily *Coin Purse doesn’t sell and I change my mind … for now…

If you’d like to purchase either purses (Don’t forget about upcoming Mother’s Day) please visit my Etsy Shop.